Mrs. Fairess graduated from Old Dominion University with a BS in Education. She then obtained her Masters in English from Rutgers, Camden. She attended Rowan University and achieved her supervisor's certificate, followed by completing an administrator's program with NJExcel. With NJExcel she obtained both her principal and school administrator certificates. She taught middle school English and history for nine years in Millville and served as a grades 5-12 supervisor of English and media with Pittsgrove Township Schools. She then was a district supervisor of humanities K-12 (English, world languages, social studies, and media) with Monroe Township School District in Middlesex County, NJ. She has served as Supervisor of Instruction/Assistant Principal at Shawnee since December of 2005. She loves spending time with her husband and her three sons. As a NJ educator of twenty-five years, she loves working with teachers, administrators, and students on a variety of projects.
English Department Teachers - Read teachers' bios below course descriptions
English Course Descriptions
Ninth grade students are required to pass English I. Tenth, eleventh and twelfth grade students are required to
pass English II, English III and English IV and may take semesterized courses in addition to those courses. NJ
Common Core Standards are addressed in all English courses. Summer reading is required in all full-year
English I HON, ACC, CP, MOD
English I is taught using the Reading/Writing Workshop model. Half of each week is spent on writing
instruction, while the other half is dedicated to the study of literature—short stories, the novel, drama and
poetry, as well as non-fiction. Students are introduced to several writing modes, including research.
Independent reading is required throughout the year. As students write more extensively, they become more
critical readers, and as they read more, they learn to identify and incorporate the tools of master writers.
English II HON, ACC, CP, MOD
Focuses on American Literature: short stories, poems, essays, plays, and novels, and includes authors from the
colonial period through the 21st Century. Additional study will include writing, research, speaking, vocabulary,
This course is currently under revision. Upon Board approval the description of the course will be modified to align
with the revised curriculum and current New Jersey Core and Common Core Standards.
*AP English Language
and Composition HON
Offered by invitation only to juniors who display special ability in English, this course allows students to write
in many forms - narrative, exploratory, expository, and argumentative - on many different subjects from
personal experiences to public policies, from imaginative literature to popular culture. Offered by invitation
only to juniors who display special ability in English. Equivalent to a first year college course, students taking
this course will be prepared to take the College Board's Advanced Placement test in Language and
Composition. Students may receive college credit or advanced standing depending upon their test scores and
individual college policy. *Offered as BCC Cap Course.
English III ACC, CP, MOD
Focuses on British Literature: short stories, poems, plays, essays, and novels, stressing all the language skills in
reading and writing as well as critical thinking and listening. Periods studied range from the Anglo-Saxons to
the 21st Century. The work in this course will involve lecture, composition, research, oral presentations,
vocabulary, SAT preparation, HSPA preparation, and special projects.
*AP English Literature
and Composition HON
Offered by invitation only to seniors who display special ability in English. Equivalent to a first year college
English course, students taking this course will be prepared to take the College Board's Advanced Placement
Test in Literature and Composition. Students may receive college credit or advanced standing depending upon
their test scores and individual college policy. *Offered as BCC Cap Course.
English IV ACC, CP, MOD
Focuses on World Literature and builds on language skills previously developed. Emphasis is on literature as a
reflection of the culture that produced it. This course continues to stress writing, critical thinking, and
English I, II, III, IV PR
Emphasis is on remediation of weaknesses in reading, writing, and vocabulary development. At all levels,
students will develop and learn to apply skills to "real life" situations. Available through the Child Study Team
Humanities Seminar ACC
Designed to teach students to develop their ability to see art, listen to music, and read literature. In addition to
developing criteria for aesthetic judgment, the course emphasizes evaluation of the historic, social, and
philosophical significance of ideas, institutions, and works of human expression. The course will demonstrate
the evolution of crucial themes and ideas and relate them to current issues and attitudes. Students will develop
skills necessary for communication of ideas to others. Humanities Seminar is a Level 2 academic elective
without prerequisite. It will be team taught by a teacher from the English Department and a teacher from the
Individual Studies I PR
Designed for students in need of individualized or small group instruction in study skills. Areas of study
include note-taking, outlining, test taking skills, organization, listening skills, following directions, and use of
technology to complete research. Students will begin self-advocacy portfolios to provide insight and reflection
about their learning styles and personality traits. These students will also receive support in their academic
classes. Available through the Child Study Team.
Individual Studies II PR
Focuses on self-advocacy, communication and appropriate social interaction. Continuation of advanced study
skills as well as HSPA English and math preparation. Students will explore post-secondary interests and
continue to expand upon their self-advocacy portfolios. These students will also receive support in their
academic classes. Available through the Child Study Team.
Individual Studies III PR
Includes career exploration and post-secondary preparation, civic duties, life skills, and HSPA and SAT prep,
when appropriate. Emphasis will be placed on making the transition from high school meaningful and
successful. These students will also receive support for their academic classes. Available through the Child
Designed for students in need of individual, small group, and direct instruction in the area of reading. Individualized
instructional approaches are utilized based on the identified needs of the students. Available through the Child
SEMESTERIZED ENGLISH COURSES
Celebrating Diversity ACC
Focuses on the belief that all people have inherent qualities that can be used to make positive contributions to society.
Emphasis will be placed on learning and understanding the importance of tolerance and respect for people regardless
of culture, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, body image, or disability. Students will read
various genres of literature, watch media presentations, participate in class discussions, and complete projects.
Creative Drama ACC
Creative Drama focuses on three aspects of theatre - technique, communication, and cultural context. Students will
examine movement, expression, characterization, and staging. They will read a number of plays from different time
periods and cultures, and they will participate in pantomime, monologues, and scene writing, performance and
Creative Writing ACC
Designed for students who like to write and wish to learn more about how to express themselves imaginatively in the
short story, the poem, and the one-act play. In addition to the study of particular literary devices and techniques, there
is much reading and keeping of personal journals as sources of ideas. Students are encouraged to submit their work in
contests and in publications. A command of basic writing skills is necessary.
Discussion and Debate ACC
Utilizes current issues as a vehicle for the exchange of ideas, attitudes, and beliefs. Discussion of issues is based on
logical thinking, research, and proofs. Critical thinking and listening are stressed. In formal debate, students learn to
persuade others to their point of view through evidence, argument, and appeal. Students are taught to weigh evidence,
use logical judgment, and arrive at unbiased conclusions.
Introduction to College Writing ACC
Prepares the student for the college-level composition requirement. Each student will create a number of paragraphs
and essays of various types based on personally selected and teacher selected topics. Oral presentations may be
required. Students in this course must be interested in improving their writing ability.
This course is currently underrevision.Upon Board approvalthe description ofthe course will bemodified to align
with the revised curriculumand currentNew Jersey Core and Common Core Standards.
Journalistic Writing ACC
Shows how to locate and write news stories. Different kinds of news articles, styles, and newspaper formats are
studied. Students read and critically evaluate stories in newspapers. Much class time is used to write news, editorials
This course is currently under revision.Upon Board approval the description of the course will be modified to align
with the revised curriculum and current New Jersey Core and Common Core Standards.
Literature of the Holocaust ACC
Educates students about the period of time called the Holocaust from 1933 to 1945. Students will get an overview of
the time period and will read personal accounts in a variety of genre. Fiction as well as non-fiction will be included.
Students will also work on projects, see videos, participate in class discussions, and write essays and reports.
Emphasis will be placed on learning to accept others and tolerance of different cultures in order to eliminate future
Mass Media ACC
Probes the nature of communication: why people need to communicate and how they do it. Students examine
newspapers, magazines, radio, television programs, and film to assess the media's influence on daily lives. They
investigate techniques used to sway individual decisions, and also evaluate how public and individual opinions are
Musical Theater ACC
Explores the purposes and creators of musicals. The course involves many individual readings, written research, and
possible field trips. Students may write and perform in their own musicals. Form as an indicator of social changes is
studied. Musicals ranging from the past to the present are analyzed in regard to type, intent, and structure.
Concentrates on various world mythologies demonstrating universal archetypes and themes. These themes are
reviewed and discussed through various readings as well as writing and speaking assignments. Works will include
worldwide multi-cultural myths as well as classical mythologies.
Includes many forms of poetry: narrative, descriptive, sonnet, ode, limerick, riddle, etc. Students interpret poems
orally and in writing. The writing of original poems may be required.
Public Speaking ACC
Helps students acquire confidence and poise before an audience. Emphasis is on organization, structure,
research, and delivery of speeches. Techniques for effective speaking are stressed. Students are encouraged to
develop original thoughts into effective public messages.
SAT Prep ACC
Prepares students for the verbal and math sections of the SAT. Nine weeks will be spent on verbal and nine
weeks on math. The critical reading, writing, vocabulary, and logical reasoning skills needed on the SAT will
be addressed. Specific test-taking strategies for the SAT will also be presented. Completing this course is in no
way a guarantee of desired results on the SAT. Open to second semester sophomores, all juniors, and first
semester seniors. Credits will not count toward English or Math requirements for graduation. Students will be
graded on a pass/fail basis. Students will complete a portfolio of practice tests, work samples, and skill sets
which will be assessed by the instructor using a pre-established rubric. This is a pass/fail course.
Science Fiction ACC
Focuses on fiction based on some imagined development of science or some "fantastical" idea. The course
includes readings about the future and the effects of technology in terms of their social and psychological
possibilities. Science fiction provides a forum for discussion (verbal and written) of social problems,
ecological concerns, overpopulation, mind manipulation, biological engineering, etc.
Science Fiction CP
As above with greater emphasis on the basic skills.
Seminar in Ideas ACC
This course gives students the opportunity to discuss, argue and evaluate issues in philosophy, culture, religion,
psychology, and education, in literature, film, and other media. Topics frequently studied include war, animal
rights, and the role and value of art in society.
Why is Shakespeare the world's most popular playwright? This course attempts to answer that question by
reading, discussing, and writing about his plays: their themes, conflicts, and characters. Background reading
and written critical analyses are required. Research and films are used to get the "feel" of Shakespeare.
Sports Literature CP
Continues to build English skills by using stories about athletic competition and sports figures. Reading
selections will include short stories, newspaper and magazine articles, and biography.
Strategies for Success in High School and Life ACC, CP
Offered to freshmen and sophomores only, this course is designed to foster appreciation for cultural diversity
and individualism as well as to teach study skills at an early stage to be applied throughout high school and
higher learning. Taught by English and history departments. Credits will not count toward English or history
requirements for graduation.
Vocabulary Enrichment ACC
Suited for serious college-bound juniors and seniors who seek to improve their reading comprehension and
writing skills through word study. Special emphasis is placed on word origin, research, and the application of
new vocabulary while reading both fiction and non-fiction. Supplemental readings are integral to the course.
Women in Literature ACC
Examines writing by and about women. Selections are taken from British and American literature and
represent all genre. A variety of critical approaches will be used. Students will be expected to respond both
orally and in writing to the reading selections assigned.
English as a Second Language (ESL)
The three year program of study presented by the Lenape District is designed to meet the needs of all students
whose first language is not English and who qualify as limited English proficient according to state guidelines.
An introduction to the phonetic and grammatical construction of the English language. All activities are
centered around improving listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills. Emphasis is on students becoming
communicative and able to function in everyday situations. If it is determined that the student needs two
periods of English a day, 10 credits can be obtained by taking ESL I as a high intensity course.
Builds on knowledge acquired either in ESL I or background experience. Techniques will be practiced to
improve reading comprehension, speaking skills through directed conversation, listening skills through audio
materials, and writing short paragraphs.
Advanced ESL addresses the needs of those students who are competent enough in English to excel at high
content level courses but have not passed state guidelines to be exited from ESL. Much emphasis is placed on
writing and some literature is read. Final exiting from the program will be individually based using tools
recommended by state requirements.
B.A. Rutgers University
M.A. Marygrove College
AP Certification - LaSalle University
AP Language and Composition, English II
Courses taught at Burlington County College:
English 101, English 102
College: Bachelor Degrees: English and Elementary
Education from Rowan University
Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS):
Year Started at Shawnee: 2005
Courses Taught this Year: English II Honors,
English II Accelerated, English IV Accelerated
BA Montclair State 1984
English 1, Level HON
Education: BA from Montclair State University
MA from Rowan University
Started at Shawnee: 1971
Courses Taught This Year:
AP Literature and Composition
Nik Tama graduated from Gettysburg College
with a BA in English and a Writing Concentration.
He teaches Freshman and Senior English, SAT
Prep, and Creative Writing. He is Head Coach
of Freshman Boys' Soccer at Shawnee.
Mr. Vogel has been teaching English
at Shawnee since 1994. He received
his BA in Journalism and Communications
from Glassboro State College and received
his MA in English from Rowan University.
Mr. Vogel worked at the Courier-Post newspaper
as a copy editor prior to starting his teaching career.
In his spare time, Mr. Vogel enjoys playing
softball and watching the Green Bay Packers.
Mr. Posch has been teaching English at Shawnee for eight
years. He graduated from Rutgers University in New Brunswick
and majored in English with a focus on creative writing and poetry.
Mr. Posch is the advisor to Shawnee’s Literary Magazine and
Young Democrats. He also spends a lot of his time outside of
Shawnee reading and hiking with his dog, Pepper.
Ms. Miller received her Bachelor of Arts in English at Rutgers
University where she was a member of Athenaeum Honor Society
and Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society in Education. She is certified
in English and English as a Second Language and is currently working
on her Master of Arts in English Writing Studies. Since joining the
English Department in 2006, Ms. Miller has taught sophomores,
seniors, and various electives. Presently, she teaches English II Honors,
English I Honors, English II Accelerated, and English as a Second Language.
"Masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many
years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the
experience of the mass is behind the single voice." ~Virginia Woolf
Lora Griffin graduated from the University of Delaware in 2003. She
earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Education.
Ms. Griffin has been a member of the Shawnee staff since fall 2005.
She has an AP Certificate from LaSalle University. She is currently
enrolled in the Master's of Arts writing program at Rowan University.
Ms. Griffin has taught Freshman, Junior and Senior English courses.
She is also a fan of Harry Potter - 10 points for Gryffindor!
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.
Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” ~ J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter
and the Deathly Hollows
A. Susan Schliep
Teacher of English, 15 ½ Years
College: Bachelor of Arts in English; Concentration: Secondary Education
Rowan University, Glassboro, New Jersey—1996
GPA 3.982, Summa Cum Laude--New Jersey Teaching Certificate
1997 Leonard L. Mancuso Medallion Award--Rowan’s Student-Teacher-
Women’s Studies Award--Rowan’s Top Five Academic Women
Dean’s List--eight semesters
Kappa Delta Pi (Education Honor Society) and Epsilon Theta Sigma (English)
Graduate Courses and Special Training:
Fitchburg State College, Fitchburg, MA
- Research for Better Teaching I and II: Graduate Credit
New Jersey State Training
- High School Proficiency Assessment training course(s)
- Student Remedial Assessment training course—certified scorer
LaSalle University, Philadelphia, PA
- Advanced Placement Certification Training for Language and Composition, July 2007
Randy Latini graduated from Monmouth University,
where he earned a bachelor's degree in Commmunication
Arts and Education. After receiving his teaching degree
in Speech Arts, Mr. Latini attended Rutgers University,
where he studied English and earned his 2nd teaching
certification in English. Mr. Latini currently teaches
freshman English, Creative Writing, and Public Speaking.
College: Rider University for Bachelors,
Marygrove University for Masters
Year Started at Shawnee: January 2000
Courses Taught this Year: English I, CP & ACC
"A ship in the harbor is safe,
but that's not what ships are built for." ~ William G.T. Shedd
Ms. Meimbresse has been teaching at Shawnee since 2001.
She graduated from Shawnee in 1997 and then attended The
College of New Jersey where she earned a bachelor’s degree
in English/Secondary Education with a minor in Psychology.
In addition to teaching, she coaches field hockey, which she
has been doing since 2007. For most of her career, she has taught
freshmen and juniors. In addition to those classes, she is currently
teaching the senior AP Literature and Composition course.